The delegation of the U.S. Grains Council came and discussed with Directorate of Fisheries. (21-03-2023)

On the morning of February 15, 2023, Tran Dinh Luan, Director General of the Directorate of Fisheries, and representatives from the Directorate of Fisheries welcomed and conferred with a delegation from the United States Grains Council (USGC).
The delegation of the U.S. Grains Council came and discussed with Directorate of Fisheries.

The USGC representative briefly introduced USGC at the meeting. The USCG is a non-profit organization that, like other similar US organizations, has a political voice; it represents import-export enterprises and consumers of cereals, processed and refined cereal products.

Currently, the USCG has 28 branches around the world, with the Southeast Asia branch located in Vietnam. This demonstrates that USCG prioritizes the Vietnamese grain market in its Southeast Asian market development strategy.

Mr. Ronnie Tan, USGC Southeast Asia Aquaculture Advisor also described some of its activities in various fields in Vietnam. Concerning the fishery sector, the USGC stated that it has participated in a number of activities with Vietnamese producers to introduce farming technology products to the Vietnamese market, such as the recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) technology.

Mr. Tan also introduced the new distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), which is a byproduct of ethanol extraction from fermented cereals. Corn contains about 7-8% protein, so when ethanol and CO2 are separated, the amount of protein left in the pulp triples, to about 26-28%. As a result, DDGS is an extremely useful product in the production of animal feed. There are also high-protein DDGS (48%), because as new technology separates starch and corn oil during fermentation, ensuring that the protein level is at least 48%. Shrimp feed in Vietnam is currently around 32-38% protein, making it ideal for conventional DDGS or high protein DDGS. Vietnam is currently the second largest importer of DDGS from the US after Mexico.

"In Vietnam, USGC has also collaborated with some large corporations in the fisheries industry, such as Sao Mai and Vinh Hoan, to investigation and test DDGS ingredients in aqua feed for export pangasius; and with the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.2 for vannamei," Mr. Tan added.

"Not only DDGS, but USGC also has many other technologies to help strengthen the immune system of aquatic animals through industrial feed," Mr. Tan explained. Furthermore, USGC supports training and technology transfer for human resources involved in the livestock industry chain. In the future, USGC hopes to work more closely with Vietnam's aquaculture industry."

At the meeting Mr. Nhu Van Can, Head of the Department of Aquaculture, introduced the two main aquaculture species of Vietnam's fisheries, which are shrimp and pangasius. Meanwhile, the United States is Vietnam's largest market for these two items. As a result, Mr. Can hopes that USGC will contribute to Vietnam and US trade when products sold in the US market are raised in Vietnam with food containing US ingredients. Alternatively, USGC can assist in overcoming the challenges faced by these two key players, namely the unstable pangasius market and the complicated disease outbreak in shrimp.

Shrimp farmers are currently dealing with a variety of diseases, including: Early Mortality Syndrome/Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis (EMS/AHPND); white spot disease (WSSV); and Microsporidian disease, which is caused by the parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) of the Enterocytozoonidae family and is also known as growth retardation... This raises production costs for things like pond cleaning, prevention and treatment, and re-farming... If shrimps become seriously ill, the farming costs skyrocket.

According to Tran Dinh Luan, Director General, Vietnam currently promotes high-tech marine farming but has yet to find a strong main farming object such as shrimp or pangasius. Some species are raised widely, but the output remains fragmented, insufficient for feed companies to invest in mass domestic production, resulting in imported food and high prices. As a result, Mr. Luan expressed his hope that the USGC could help Vietnam develops marine aquaculture by lowering the cost of aquafeeds through the use of DDGS. Director General Tran Dinh Luan praised the USGC's interest in Vietnam's seafood industry and expressed hope that the two sides would collaborate more in the future.

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